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How to watch Kentucky Derby 2021: Live stream online, TV channel coverage, start time, full race schedule

After a year of uncertainty, the Kentucky Derby is back where it belongs, with the race’s 147th running once again taking place on the first Saturday in May.

The 2021 Kentucky Derby will air on May 1 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available to stream live on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Fans are expected to return to Churchill Downs after the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted last year’s race. Thee 146th Kentucky Derby was moved from Saturday, May 2 to Saturday, Sept. 5 and was run without fans in the stands. Several top jockeys were also noticeably absent, choosing to stay at their home tracks due to quarantine rules.

Related: What to know about the 2021 Kentucky Derby

NBC Sports will also air the Kentucky Oaks the day before on Friday, April 30 from 12 to 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

What is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the American Triple Crown of horse racing. It is historically run on the first Saturday in May. First run in 1875, this 1 1/4 mile—or 10 furlongs—race runs on the dirt track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, where it has been held since its inaugural running in 1875.

Only 3-year-old Thoroughbreds can qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Eligible horses compete in the Race to the Kentucky Derby, a series of 35 races around the world. Horses win points for finishing in the top four spots, and the 20 horses with the most points at the end of the series gain entry into the Derby.

When is the 2021 Kentucky Derby?

The 147th Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 1. Coverage begins on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app at 12 p.m. ET and will move from NBCSN to NBC at 2:30 p.m.

Post time for the 2021 Kentucky Derby is set for approximately 6:57 p.m. ET.

Where is the 2021 Kentucky Derby? 

The Kentucky Derby is run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Related: Recipes for traditional Kentucky Derby foods

How can I watch the 2021 Kentucky Derby?

NBC Sports is home to the 147th Kentucky Derby, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app before, during and after the main event. Coverage begins at 12 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports’ additional Triple Crown coverage: 

Watch the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Full coverage is also available on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.